Blog / The Ultimate Guide To A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Styling

The Ultimate Guide To A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Styling

table art queen of hearts


The Ultimate Guide To A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Styling

Of all the iconic scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, none are more beloved than the Mad Hatter’s tea party. It encapsulates all the whimsy and beautiful nonsense of Lewis Carroll’s classic stories while giving us a glimpse into the middle of a Victoria tea party.

It’s a fantastic style to work with for an event because it allows you to bring in the sophistication of high tea. Additionally, it allows you to really push your creative flair with furnishings, centrepieces, and decorations inspired by Wonderland.

In this guide, we’re going to look at how to style the perfect Mad Hatter’s tea party. We’ll cover everything from lighting, decorations, and building a wonderfully bizarre atmosphere for your guests.

At Table Art, we’ve become masters of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. You can explore more of our recent events at our gallery.


Getting Started

A Mad Hatter’s tea party style works for many types of events. As it’s based on a dinner party, it works very well for large meals that you want to feel both refined and relaxed.

However, it can just as easily be used for product launches, conferences, design shows, and even end of year events.

It creates an atmosphere of mischievousness, inventiveness, and curiousness which suits many creative and innovative industries. It’s also a guest favourite because of the imaginativeness and the universal appeal.

Decorations And Design

queen of hearts statue

What really sets the Mad Hatter tea party apart from other themes and styles is the huge range of decorations and designs you can play with.

You can draw inspiration from the original illustrations by John Tenniel and Arthur Rackham or you can look to modern adaptations, including Disney’s 1951 classic or the spooky 1988 stop-animation Alice.

Your staple decorations will include vintage tea sets, playing cards, and love hearts. It also includes hookahs, mushrooms, clocks, chess boards, top hats, and Victorian furniture with its hallmark gothic and ornate style.

As a tea party is traditionally held outside in an English summer garden, you might try to replicate this feel with manicured hedges, roses, and ivy. The dinner table layout should ape high tea events with cake stands and vintage salt and pepper pots.

If you really want to get into the Alice in Wonderland setting, then you might consider experimenting with proportions. Try having everyday objects built to be larger and furniture to appear mismatched and out of place.

The original stories are full of magical characters to include like the dodo, a white rabbit, and March hares. Don’t forget a Cheshire cat, a caterpillar, or event the Queen of Hearts.

fantasy centrepiece hire

Lighting And Colour

There are few directions you can take when choosing a colour scheme for your Mad Hatter style.

You might opt for a dreamy atmosphere with intense purples, blues, and greens. This will really let your guests experience the feeling of being lost in Wonderland.

Another option is to create a quaint tea party feel, with pastel colours including baby pink, spring green, and eggshell blue. This takes guests into the garden and lets them relax at high tea.

Finally, you might try using a Victorian-inspired colour scheme with dark reds, greens, and browns. This is easily achievable if you choose a venue that’s retained a Victorian or Edwardian feel. 

When it comes to lighting you will likely want a mix of stronger spotlights that pull in your Wonderland atmosphere. Also, don’t forget some more natural looking lighting that creates a sunny outdoor feel.

Adventurous centrepieces work particularly well here as they can add a cosy ambience to the table. This is great because it’s where much of the focus will be with a tea party style.


Stopping At The End

Getting your Mad Hatter’s tea party just right can be difficult as you need the surreal qualities of Wonderland to come through while still presenting a charming tea party and not allowing the decorations to crowd out the atmosphere.

A Mad Hatter’s tea party allows you to go overboard with your decorations and it will make for a venue that guests will love to photograph and explore. This makes it a perfect branding opportunity for any organisation and will give a memorable spin to your event. 

If you’d like to have one of Table Art’s truly magical Mad Hatter Tea Parties or you’d like help designing your next event, then get in touch with us for a consultation.


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